Maybe it was just too hard to get by Boston, Russell and company. When he passed the 20,000-point mark against the rival Lakers at Boston in the early 1970's, almost every player on both teams took time out to shake his hand when the game was stopped briefly to mark his accomplishment. Havlicek was likely the second or third best player on the team for a lot of that time, but he was being kept on the bench as a strategic coaching decision by Red and later Russell. Havlicek did not get such easy baskets in the halfcourt.

As a second driving force, at Ohio State Hondo played in three consecutive NCAA championship games, back when freshmen weren't eligible. Certainly at his level of athleticism and and conditioning, Havlicek could have been the first NBAer to play regularly at 40. Datome, the former Celtics fan favorite, took some time out of his schedule to reflect on his time in Boston. But don't think for a minute he didn't play with fire and intensity behind his poker-faced mask of concentration. As in 1969, the Celtics had to win on the road in the ultimate no-tomorrow game, or fail in the attempt to win their first banner without Russell. When ABC play-by-play man Chris Schenkel opined during a Havlicek foul shot in the 1973 ASG at Chicago that 11-year veteran John had gone from supersub to …

Havlicek's package of athletic ability, size, high skill, drive, basketball intelligence and conditioning has only been approached by the smaller John Stockton and maybe Bird.

Only Pippen and Cooper, two lesser offensive players (particularly Cooper), can rival Hondo in terms of defensive excellence and versatility. John Havlicek, dubbed with the nickname “Hondo,” is one of the most legendary players in NBA and Boston Celtics history. He was great setting up his man and then cleverly taking advantage of poor defensive fundamentals: a turn of the head, a lapse in opponent concentration or fatigue caused by his ceaseless probing and running, which usually resulted in a quick backcut and un-flashy layin.

Best Buckeye Football Players of all Time.

Not enough players can or know how to play that uniquely skillful and unselfish style. Havlicek’s offensive repertoire grew year after year and helped his scoring average jump all the way to 28.9 PPG in 1970-71.

John added that Finals MVP White "played magnificently...why don't you talk to (Paul) Silas now.". Havlicek was playing a bit off from Walker, giving Greer an opening to inbound the ball. Also on those great teams was future Indiana three-time NCAA champion coach Bob Knight, Hondo's backup. NBA Privacy Center |

And that team only won after beating Boston in the East finals 4-3 because of a severe shoulder injury in game three suffered by Havlicek when he ran blindly into a hard screen by bruising Dave DeBusschere. Reportedly he could throw a football 80 yards and also outrun anyone on the field. And Hondo was an excellent, clever passer (6,939 career season and playoff assists attest to that) who could thread the needle as well as almost any forward in NBA history, except for behind Larry Bird, LeBron James and Rick Barry. John’s son, Chris, followed in his footsteps by playing basketball throughout college and later becoming a member of the US Olympics Handball Team in 1996. Plus, John's unusual surname was hard for some to pronounce, while Hondo was not. In that classic topsy-turvy Finals, the home team lost a record five of the seven games. He averaged at least 4.0 APG in each of his final 11 seasons – he did not average that many in any of his first five – and maxed out with consecutive seasons of averaging 7.5 APG in 1970-71 and 1971-72.

He was recruited by Woody Hayes to be the quarterback for the powerhouse Buckeyes, but turned him down to play hoops instead (mom preferred basketball).

When one thinks of the other greatest all-around players in NBA history, these names come to mind: Jerry West, Robertson, Elgin Baylor, Havlicek, Walt Frazier, Rick Barry, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James. John may not have won the MVP in any season, but it is safe to say he was one of the best-liked top players of his time, and was probably the most respected player in pro basketball over his last five seasons.

Havlicek’s most notable moment arrived on April 15, 1965, when he played the key role in one of the most historic moments in NBA history. Away from opponents, his more celebrated teammates, from father time, into the record books. Even more telling, he avoided Brent's gaze while running his hand through his blonde mane, drenched with sweat and alcohol, as he gave the politically correct response.

Hondo was the best-conditioned player in the game, while Oscar was not nearly in his class in that category. "I learned to score by taking advantage of every opening," he explained in the Underwood article. As mentioned before about 1961-62, teams took more shots and missed more per game than a decade later, allowing for more rebounds.

John Havlicek’s son-in-law, Brian Buchanan, was a successful Major League Baseball player. While he became known for his scoring, Havlicek was also able to turn up his assist totals later in his career. Most's call of the play has been dubbed by the NBA as "the most famous radio call in basketball history."[1]. Hayes would later tell recruits in the early 1960's that the best quarterback in the Big 10 wasn't even playing football, in reference to Havlicek.

John then recovered to say that Cowens won game six for them - "we were finally able to keep him on the floor", referring to his foul-outs in previous games. All rights reserved. So much happens beyond the box score in hoops, much more than baseball. [7], Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Sixteen years, over 26,000 points, eight rings, a Finals MVP and 13 straight All-Star Games later, it is safe to say he made a good choice.

In game 6 of the classic 1974 NBA Finals vs. Milwaukee, Havlicek led Boston with 36 points in an epic 102-101 double overtime loss that evened the series, 3-3.

However, the depth and breadth of his skills, versatility and athleticism is probably rivaled only by West and Jordan. In a modern era where players over-dribble constantly in selfish, ego and stat-driven fashion, his anthithetical ability to move without the ball so well is an unappreciated anachronism yet a reminder about how the game is played best, with crisp ball and player movement, and selfless sharing of the ball.

Answer. Lucas was an All-Star in Cincinnati and Golden State, and enjoyed a career good enough to land him on the league's exclusive 50 Greatest List in 1997. After Bill Russell turned the ball over in the waning moments of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals – due to a pass that deflected off of a wire, no less – Havlicek stepped in to steal Philadelphia’s ensuing inbound pass, tossed by Hal Greer. OSU won it all when he was a sophomore, then lost two straight times to in-state rival Cincinnati.

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